Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Diary of a Hair Care Obsessed Gal {Guest Post}

The History
I'm obsessed...with my hair. About a year ago I decided I wanted long, luscious hair. Go figure, considering growing up my four cousins and I all had hair so long that we could sit on it. It became something we were all known for. Well wouldn't you know it that once we hit our teens we ALL chopped it off!? And not just to shoulder length, I'm talking (well, in my case) 'Posh Spice' circa 1997. Since then, I've worn my hair somewhere between chin and shoulder length. I thought this 'growing my hair long' process was going to be a breeze. So I just don't make an appointment to cut my hair. Easy right? Umm, maybe not.
Styles throughout the years
I've learned that when it comes to hair care, the number one concern is damage. You have to avoid, control and prevent damage to your hair; otherwise, it won't grow (and here I thought it was as simple as avoiding the scissors!). And who wants to have nice lovely hair if it's just going to look scraggly and course?

I have horribly damaged hair and have devised a little hair care regiment to prevent more damage. I still have about 4 inches of growth until I reach my 'goal' length. 

Top Hair Tips
  • First, book a trim. This is the best way to ensure you have healthy hair. You cannot repair damaged hair, no matter what your bottle of conditioner tells you! Be sure to tell your stylist that you are growing out your hair. It's up to you how much you want taken off, but be sure to SHOW them how much to cut. I think stylists are taught a totally different measuring system in school than the rest of us.
  • Avoid tangles in your hair at all costs. We loose 100 hairs a day, and those hairs are what causes most tangles. When we have a tangle, we tend to pull and yank at the hair to loosen it. This ruins the cuticle and causes major damage to the hair. So remember, tangles are your enemy!
  • Professional shampoo and condition are essential. Do not buy drugstore shampoos. They are extremely drying and they strip your hair of their natural oils. Buying professional products is a bit of an investment, but worth it in the long run. I really like Aveda's Shampure shampoo and conditioner, as well as Joico's Daily balancing shampoo and condition (retail for $16-$18 a bottle).

  • If you like to curl or straighten your hair, be sure to purchase a heat protectant. I think this is where I went wrong. I discovered heat protectant sprays late in the game. CHI sells a fantastic infrared thermal protectant treatment for around $14.
  • Buy a natural bristle brush. Throw out that plastic drugstore brush with the missing balls at the end of the bristles. You're only doing more damage! A natural bristle brush is the best because it distributes the natural oils of the hair better than a plastic one, and will last longer. 
  • Do not cut your own hair UNLESS you own an excellent pair of barber scissors. Do not even THINK about cutting your split ends with those orange handled kitchen scissors! Your hair needs to be cut with super sharp scissors, otherwise it'll just split up the shaft and you'll do more damage than good.
Essentially, be nice to your hair. Avoid unnecessary heat if possible as well.

How I take care of my hair
Like I said, I'm obsessed. I've spent many hours Googling, concocting, planning, researching and testing a ton of products and making my own hair care creations. I've even gone so far as to make my own deep conditioner and detangler. 

I've learned the importance of natural oils so I only shampoo every 2 or 3 days. I can get away with 4 if I'm lucky. Before I get in the shower, I brush my hair really well. I want to get rid of all those loose hairs before I shampoo. Plus, it helps keep all that hair out of the drain ;) I use Aveda's Shampure shampoo on my roots only (remember, my hair is really damaged at the bottom and really dry). I don't scrub my hair either. Instead, I massage the roots and then gently rub the rest of my hair. I don't want to pile my hair on top of my head either. That is a good way to get a ton of tangles. After a really good rinse, I use Moroccan Oil's repairing conditioner. I am absolutely in love with it and it's fairly affordable at $20 a bottle.
If I'm feeling up to it (usually I'm not), I'll adjust the shower head and give my hair a final rinse in cold water. This closes the cuticle and makes the hair look super shiny. 

Once I get out of the shower, I wrap my hair in a microfiber turban. I let my hair air dry 80% before I touch it. Once it's almost dry, I take Moroccan Oil and apply a quarter-sized amount to my hair, concentrating on the ends. Then I carefully brush my hair. If I'm in a bit of a rush, I sometimes blow-dry my hair on cold. I'm very careful not to use any unnecessary heat.

Ta-da! I'm done! I'm lucky(?) to have poker straight hair, so I don't usually have to worry about straightening my hair, or using a ton of products to make it curly.

On Day 2 or 3 is when I apply my homemade deep conditioner (I told you that I am obsessed!). I usually apply it at night while I watch TV, sleep on it and wash my hair in the morning. OR if I know I'm going to home all day, I'll apply the deep conditioner and wear my hair in a bun and wash that night. I only apply the conditioner to the ends. When washing it, I do have to give it a good scrub as the oils are a bit heavy. But once it's dry, my hair is back to it's lovely supple self.

The Recipe
It took me a few tries, but I finally figured out the perfect concoction for me.
  • 1 tsp Olive Oil
  • 1 oz Extra Virgin Coconut Oil
  • 2 oz Jojoba Oil
  • 5-10 drops essential oils (I like Aveda's Jasmine Absolute)
Heat in microwave for 25 seconds, or until warm; apply to hair. Twist into a bun, cover in Saran Wrap, sleep, vacuum, paint your nails, go for a run. Shampoo normally, but you will have to scrub a little more than usual. 

I've noticed a massive change in my hair since I started using my deep conditioner 3 months ago. My hair isn't as dry as it was in the fall (or the 'crunchies' as I call it), and I've been able to ward off trims from every 3 months to every 5-6 months. Jojoba oil is the secret ingredient to my conditioner. Jojoba oil's cells are so so small they're able to penetrate the hair's cuticle, leaving your hair incredibly soft.

With any luck my regiment will leave me with hair as beautiful as some of my celebrity inspirations. My favourite brown is Anne Hathaway. I love her hair when she wears it a bit longer, although she can rock a bob like no other.
I also squeal like a 12 year old girl every week while watching 'The Vampire Diaries'. But not because of Stephan/Elena's love affair. It's because I'm in love with Nina Dobrev's waist length hair. 
But my ultimate inspiration is Kate Middleton's hair. When Prince William and her announced their engagement, not only was I in love with her ring (and that dress!) but I was fixated on her hair. Healthy, shiny and long. The idea of a crown on top of those locks is enough to make me weak in the knees.

I wonder if Kate Middleton is as obsessed with her hair as I am with mine....;)



  1. Thanks so much for all these wonderful tips C!! It has been an absolute pleasure having you guest blog. xoxo

  2. Great tips here!
    I love your blog.

    Check out also my site:

    Natural hair growth supplement

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